In mid-March 2016, Santander announced that it would be the first employer in the UK to offer grandparents up to 16 weeks paid leave as part of shared parental leave alongside mothers and fathers. Santander currently employs 20,000 employees in this country, and could set an employment law precedent for other businesses.
Under these upcoming guidelines, new parents will be allowed to split parental leave with grandparents. Once the mother has had her required post-birth leave, the remaining of the 52 weeks in the year can be shared between more family members. However, in order for this to work, it will mean grandparents’ employers will also need to comply with these shared parental leave conditions.
This relates to the government announcing plans back in October 2015 to start consulting on the idea of grandparent parental leave across the country. Plans would see this implemented in 2018, but that is dependent on the consultation proving successful.
Extended Parental Leave in Practice
This measure could prove very significant, given that people are working longer due to changes in pensions and the considerable reliance of families on support from grandparents. Undoubtedly it will be an interesting consideration when dealing with employment law concerning family leave in the future.
However, such regulations need to be given serious thought before being put in place nationwide. There should be strict conditions on notice requirement, as well as a clear policy from individual employers as to what employees need to do to obtain this leave. This would help prevent inconsistent application of parental leave among workforces, which may lead to unwelcome legal disputes.
For both expecting parents and employers, our solicitors in Essex can offer practical advice on parental leave. Our employment law specialists can provide peace of mind over your job status for employees, as well as guidance to business owners on their duties and rights.
Call our team on 01702 477106 to arrange a free 30-minute consultation. You can also get in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram.